Let Me Be Messy

My inspirations for writing often come during unexpected and inconvenient moments – times when I simply shouldn’t stop and jot down my thoughts. (Hence, another example of perfectionist paralysis.)  Today as I was vacuuming, I was going over all the more important things I should be doing instead to prepare for the advent of another year of school. Being a veteran teacher, I know what I need to do; being a perfectionist, I know it takes me FOREVER to get my second grade classroom ready. Things have become more complicated in my teaching after having devoted two years of being part of the Powerful Learning Practices community.  My awareness and vision for 21st Century literacy skills have blossomed into endless opportunities to establish and build connected communities throughout the world – fresh exciting communities for myself and my students – and this creates a disparity with how I’ve done things in the past.  A major purging of my routine  “prepare for the start of school” practices is in order, as many of those cute bulletin boards, run-offs, and sweeet cubby decorations take endless and precious preparation time (hint: stop looking at Pinterest!) – time which could be better spent reconnecting and collaborating/planning for the year ahead with colleagues encountered in my PLN.  Having a showcase classroom simply has little value for the authentic and project-based opportunities awaiting my students.  I need only follow the wonderful roadmap of what I’ve learned from my experiences with like-minded professionals around the world. Sure, I may feel a twinge of envy as I am bombarded by my creative and clever colleagues’ masterpieces on bulletin boards, their lovely displays of pre-fabbed listening centers, the pretty writing centers.  Some parents may worry their child should have been placed in the “cuter” classrooms instead of the room set up to attack the digital world. But, ahh….I know better. Jumping into a real-world, student-inspired project – even if it’s not perfectly planned in advance – affords my kids the very best learning opportunities – and the noise and the mess is invigorating! I have the secret weapon of being connected with enthusiastic and eager comrades – I have the wealth of the world at my fingertips! It’s simple: organize my classroom efficiently in a pleasing and productive manner, and quickly get reconnected with a broader connected community – my established PLN.  🙂

Simply put – J


About Jane Roe Cooper

I am a lower school educator navigating the complexities discovered while guiding the development of young minds.
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